A warm welcome to ‘A Small, Quiet, English Town’ Crowdfunder page.
We are launching this campaign as a plea to all our supporters to help us raise essential funds to complete this wonderful Documentary Film. The film will tell the story of the very unique 'Sidmouth Folk Festival' and we hope to invite all our supporters to a special screening on its completion.
After 4 years of filming, investing our own funds, researching and finding archive, interviewing key organisers and talent, we feel we are now ready to ‘put it all together’!
The film will be ‘feature length’, approximately 90 –100 minutes in duration and our goal is to show it on the big screen as well as being available on DVD, BluRay and other formats. It will tell the story of how the Sidmouth Folk Festival came to be, how it grew to become an ‘International Festival’, the problems it encountered and what it means now in a very different world compared to its beginnings in 1955!
We will use unique archive footage (amateur and professional), interviews from key talent such as Steve Knightley (Show of Hands), Ralph McTell, Martin and Eliza Carthy, Taffy Thomas, India Electric Co., Lori Campbell and many more, all filmed especially for this project. We will also feature interviews from past and present festival organisers, festival goers and locals who all have their own special point of view of this much loved event.
Musicians and artists are an essential element to this project as all the artists we approached have given us special private performances as well as entire live performaces to help us weave and tell this story.
The Sidmouth Folk Festival committee allowed us unprecedented access to all areas (‘AAA’) to the Festival so we could get ‘behind the scenes’ and tell the hidden part of the story.
Crucially we want this finished project to be the home of a great story, great performances, unmissable archive and a treasured momento packed with important memories. We also want to ensure that profits from this film will help support the ongoing running costs of the festival, helping to secure its future.
A Small, Quiet, English Town is an idea borne out of our curiosity about Sidmouth Folk Festival.
Way back in 1999, my future wife, Ali (who is from Sidmouth) brought me to this beautiful, quiet little place and introduced me to one of the most intriguing events I'd ever witnessed. We wondered at how a quaint little town like Sidmouth came to host such a diverse event?
How did it start? Who thought of placing it here? Why do so many musicians, dancers, spoken word artists and more gather here each year - we had so many questions!
We decided in 2014 to start the long journey of making this film by shooting the 60th Anniversary Festival. We were delighted with the crew we brought in for this phase of the project - Director Andy Baybutt, Director of Photography Justin Hankinson (Co-Producer) and local Camera Assistant Kyle Baker, all who worked tirelessly to capture amazing images of this iconic event.
The hard working crew (L-R Kyle Baker, Justin Hankinson and Andy Baybutt)
Steve Knightley from Show Of Hands was incredibly supportive the moment I pitched the idea to him. As a patron of the Festival he could see the importance of producing a film to tell this story which inspired him to create the theme song we have now, entitled ‘Walk With Me (When The Sun Goes Down)’. The track was also song of the week on BBC Radio 2’s playlist in 2015.
We knew that archive footage would be hugely important in not just telling this story but also to the success of the film. We searched around the country for suitable archive to include and to find out whether the archive we needed actually existed. We asked festival goers if they had any usable archive from over the years and incredibly we had a wonderful response. For example, a local builder called us out of the blue to tell us he’d found 8mm footage in a skip with the words ‘Folk Film 1962!’ written on the Kodak cover – indeed it turned out to be invaluable archive of that years festival.
A small sample of film and other archive materiel we've collected to date.
SO, WHY DO WE NEED FUNDING AND WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?
At this point in the process, with all the elements of the film in place, we're now at the expensive and time-consuming part - POST PRODUCTION. To deliver a film of this standard and quality there are certain costs that are beyond our reach, namely:
- We need to edit many hours of archive and new footage which will take weeks at our chosen post house - Films at 59, Bristol.
- We need to pay for archive footage that will be crucial to telling the right story the right way.
- We need to go through a number of processes to ensure the film is of the right technical and creative standard to be shown not just on DVD and TV but also Cinema screens.
- We must ensure that the sound is mixed in the right environment and this is also a cost that is currently beyond our reach.
PLEASE HELP US ACHIEVE THIS GOAL AS WE BELIEVE WE CAN CREATE A SPECIAL AND UNIQUE STORY THAT IS CLOSE TO ALL FOLK AND SIDMOUTH HEARTS.